Posts Tagged ‘Election 2013’

Nothing moving for unit headed by Deputy Minister Waytha?

August 28th, 2013
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Received this via email. I just added the red color for focus. So, guess what – no name, no charter, no infrastructure procurement, no expert committee, no budget for 2013 and no planning for 2014 budget (next month gonna announce by PM).

Now push the ball to PM’s court and say Waytha will resign if nothing improves. Rightly so, as Waytha is just deputy minister and the minister in charge is PM himself. Our guess is that all the proposals has been made by Waytha and team but no approval given, thus no progress.

Now they know how hard things are. This is similar fate usually suffered by MIC, if and when they come out with proposals that require huge sums of money?



Hindraf calls on Prime Minister Najib to get cracking on the Hindraf BN MOU

27th August 2013

The recent high pitched campaign by the police to address the rising crime rate in the country has helped to highlight the extent to which Indian youth are caught up in the whirlpool of crime. The fact that there is such a large involvement of the Indian young is a fairly recent phenomenon. This has not always been the case. This trend was set some 30 odd years ago in tandem with the massive forced displacement of Indian plantation workers out of their traditional abodes in the estates. This crime problem of the Indian young is only one of many, ailing the Indian community and is also only symptomatic of the more serious socio-economic problem.

It was against this background that Hindraf put out its five year Blueprint to address the situation of the displaced estate workers in a targeted and focussed manner with permanent and comprehensive solutions in mind. The Blueprint contained all the elements to address the socio-economic issues of the displaced estate workers which would have had a direct effect on this rising crime problem. The plan clearly addressed the many economic, social, physical and psychological factors that contributed to the marginalization of the Indian displaced estate workers – the path that leads to crime..

BN bought the Blueprint on the 18th of April 2013 in an MOU Agreement in an official ceremony and made a public promise to implement the Blueprint on returning to power. They returned to power on the 5th of May.

The most significant thing that that has been accomplished deriving from the MOU in the period since, is the appointment of Waytha Moorthy as a Deputy Minister.

The unit headed by Waytha Moorthy in the Prime Minister’s department has yet to be given a name. The charter of this unit has yet to be publicly confirmed. The infrastructure proposal for the unit has not been bought off. The Expert Steering Committee which is supposed to come out with the specific plan for addressing the income opportunities, housing and skills training for the Displaced Estate workers has yet to be even identified. The Budget proposed for 2013 has still not been deliberated upon, not to even mention the planning for the 2014 budget.

The process seems to be painfully slow. It is ironical that on the one hand, we have this situation with regards to crime being addressed in a hurried manner with these shootings and arrests and which does not assure sustainability anyway. On the other, we have a plan that promises to be a sure and sustainable remedy and which will have long term positive effects effectively delayed.

 The Prime Minister I am sure is behind the plan of the Home Minister to get aggressive in addressing the crime situation through the police. What he should be equally doing is to be behind Waytha Moorthy and get aggressive on rolling out the Blueprint.  He should speed matters up and get the implementation of the Blue print going. He should name Waytha ’s unit, he should publicly confirm its charter, he should immediately get the Expert Steering Committee going, he should approve the necessary infrastructure and budgets to implement the plan,

The current lacklustre and half-hearted approach is not going to win the hearts and minds of the affected Indian estate workers whose expectations are sky high because of the public promises during the recently concluded GE. They want “Janji mesti di tepati and Nambikei” to mean something tangible.

We hope the Prime Minster will get things moving without further delay. The Blueprint and its implementation through the unit is the last hope the Indian community places on the government. If Prime Minster Najib fails to keep his promises, he is looking at an imminent resignation of Waytha Moorthy from government and we believe this will permanently shift the Indian voter completely away from BN on a long term basis.

It is now in the Prime Minister’s hand which way all this will go. For our part we only want to see correction of a serious historical wrong.


Hindraf National Adviser.

Thaipusam holiday in Kedah soon?

July 15th, 2013
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I know, got plenty of serious things to blog about….am still compiling materials. In the mean time, what PR govt failed to do in last 5 years may come back to haunt it. Newly elected BN govt is saying that wheels are set in motion to make Thaipusam a public holiday in Kedah. Not sure if its possible by 2014 (still got 7 months++). If it succeeds, then it will look bad on PR especially the PKR reps who were even EXCO in the state. If the promised Tamil schools are completed by next election and no other controversies, then can say the Indian votes in Kedah are secured for BN for GE14.

Let’s see how this progresses…(and back to more serious stuff like conversion and IPTA intakes — coming up soon)


 Kedah is likely to get a public holiday for the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, in keeping with an election promise of the Barisan Nasional.

The application for a Thaipusam public holiday is to be discussed at the weekly meeting of the state executive council on Wednesday, said State Religion, Indian and Siamese Community Affairs, Human Resources and Tourism Committee chairman Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid.

“I hope the outcome of the meeting will bring good news to Hindus in Kedah because the time has come for Thaipusam to be a state public holiday as Kedah has almost 20,000 Hindus,” he said after a visit to the site of the Sri Ramakrishna Organisation building in Alor Semadon, here, Sunday.

The Sri Ramakrishna Organisation was established to conduct free motivation, religious, computer and music classes for youngsters. The organisation has applied for RM40,000 from the state government to conduct these classes.

Meanwhile, Kedah MIC treasurer R. Muniandy said the application for a Thaipusam public holiday was submitted a long time ago.

In 2008, the Pakatan Rakyat promised to consider the matter if it won the election but the promise remained just that after the pact came to power in the state.

“We are thankful to the BN for having taken the initiative to grant the Thaipusam public holiday much-awaited by Hindus in Kedah,” he said. – Bernama


2013 13th General Elections a heartbreaker

June 7th, 2013
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This being just after one month of our 13th General Elections (feels like ages right?), this is  my thoughts and opinion on 13th General Elections.


BN: expectation was cautiously high that BN can get back 2/3 majority. PM Najib was personally involved in leading the charge to recover Selangor. Massive funds were spent in campaigning – online, print and tv/radio media were flooded with pro-govt and pro-BN ads. The govt also provided many goodies, ranging from BR1M 2.0 cash handout, to announcing affordable housing schemes to discount for taxi purchase. Various categories of voters seem to get something. The online presence was much more organised and targeted, compared to 2008 where PR steamrolled over BN. With this in mind, expectation was that BN will comfortably win 2/3 and even capture Selangor and Kelantan. PM and his ministers went around campaigning for candidates.

PR: Not to be outdone, PR folks also had high expectation, to the extend that “ini kalilah” (this time) to change government. Even though outmuscled in print and online ads, the PR team engaged in social media as in 2008. But the similar tactics used in 2008 made it a bit like “what’s new?”. PR were confident of retaining Selangor and even get back Perak. During campaign period, PR heavyweights were also going around campaigning for fellow candidates.

Nomination and Campaigning

BN: BN did its job of ensuring strict checking on candidates, but still there were issues regarding academic qualification of some candidates, as the qualifications came from degree mills. Also, the nomination of Zulkifli Nordin (PERKASA) who had insulted Hindus (and in my opinion will continue to do more stupid things) to stand in Shah Alam as “friends of BN” candidate angered many Indians. MIC was in the backfoot trying to contain the fallout from this. Zul’s apology and subsequent fingerpointing at his previous party didn’t really endear him to voters.

This election also saw for first time BN failed to put up a candidate as the UMNO candidate for Pasir Mas failed to submit nomination paper. He’s argument is to allow independent Ibrahim Ali (also PERKASA) to fight against PAS candidate. This is a blackmark for BN, but not much publicised.  Due to this, BN already lost a seat before election day.

Due to unhappiness over candidate selection issues, some UMNO members stood as independents. A total of 61 members were sacked for going against the party. Among the high profile one is Deputy Head of Women’s wing.

PR: PR as usual did some parachuting of candidates, which also caused unhappiness. Some members who stood as independents were sacked. More worryingly was the allocation of seats. On nomination day, 7 seats saw overlapping nominations among coalition members. These were resolved, but after nomination, which led to some bad repercussions. The associate coalition member, Parti Sosialis Malaysia suffered losses due to this. In my area, ex-ISA detainee and Hindraf leader Manoharan Malayalam was dropped in favour of another ex-ISA detainee and Hindraf leader, Ganabathirao. MP for Kapar, Manikavasagam was move to state seat of Bukit Melawati.

Campaigning saw various police reports due to election offences, the usual tussles and small fights. In addition, few centres even had explosives being detonated. First time this happened. Generally campaign period went smoothly without major problems, bar the bombs.


This time around, very high number of independent candidates contested. Among prominent ones are HINDRAF’s Uthayakumar and ex-Masterskill College CEO Edmund Santhara.

Also, candidates from BERJASA and KITA also entered the fray. BERJASA is party to keep an eye on. Their focus is xenophobic and racist, and its detrimental if they win any seats.

Women candidates made up about 10% of the candidates. More effort should be made to groom and nominate female candidates. With our female voters outnumbering male voters, perhaps its time political parties think out of the box.

For the first time in Malaysian electoral history, all seats were contested and no candidate won a seat unopposed. A total of 579 parliamentary candidates contested 222 parliamentary seats. For the 505 state seats, there were 1,322 candidates


This election also saw a historic moment just days before the election date. Hindraf signed MOU with BN, thus aligning itself with the coalition. Waythamoorthy’s move saw a plethora of responses – from good to bad. Some were supportive, saying if BN can help fulfill the Hindraf Demands, why not? Others say this as opportunist move by Waytha and betrayal of Indian community. MIC was lost for words for few days. Even HRP boss Uthaya was angry. PR shocked. The community was divided. BN thought they have clinched it.


Record number of independents, including some who quit or were sacked from their parties to stand. Among them are UMNO deputy Wanita chief, Kamaliah and ex-Teratai assemblywoman Jenice of DAP.

All the independent candidates lost their deposits. Lesson learnt – independents can’t win it.

Election Day

This is the first time inedible ink is used for elections. About RM5 million was spent to buy the ink. However, within hours of election start, pictures of voters with clean fingers emerged. For some, the ink can be washed away using detergents, cleaning solutions etc. The election commission have to answer for this, and according to them, the halal ingredients used made the ink less strong. I think no need waste money next time la.

This time around, another issue propped up – phantom voters (foreign workers with IC) being ferried around to vote. Few incidents of people getting bashed up were reported. And some citizens were held up by watchgroups of opposition to verified if they are indeed Malaysians. I saw an incident at Taman Sentosa Klang at around 3pm, where police were summoned and they took away someone (not sure if phantom voter or the guy who bashed up the phantom voter).

This election saw a record number of voters turn out to vote. 82.5% of Malaysian voters voted. There were reports of long queues. At the Taman Sentosa centre, the queue lined up until housing area road. Easily about 200 people were queuing at 11.30am. The weather forecast that it will rain in the afternoon and the higher voter could be a cause. EC should have set up more than just 2 counters to check IC and polling centre.


There is a serious gap between expectation (read the beginning) and performance of the contestants. I feel that both BN and PR had high expectations and were seriously disappointed.  PM Najib’s faced during announcement of winning simple majority seemed to say it all. It was a bad victory. BN failed to gain their prizes – Selangor and 2/3 majority. Overall, BN lost 7 seats compared to 2008. However, UMNO did well compared to other coalition members, winning 88 (or 2/3 of BN) seats. MCA saw a massacre as they lost half their seats (15 down to 7) while MIC took 4, better than the 3 in 2008.

PR thought they won Perak, NS and made inroads in Johor. But they didn’t win any extra states. In fact, they lost Kedah. But both Selangor and Penang were retained with better results, and in my opinion would be hard to imagine BN winning them back. DAP, among the PR team, managed to win much more(10 extra seats) than 2008 (including Sarawak and Sabah), and is the opposition with the most MPs in Dewan Rakyat (38 seats). PR and PAS managed to hold on to some seats. In the end, BN took 133 seats and PR 89. If any defections are planned, PR would need 23 crossovers or aligned MPs to make majority.

 PR also secured more votes (50.87%) as compared to BN (47.38%), but since Malaysia practises first by post and not popular vote system, its pointless to argue about this.

PM Najib made a misstep by blaming Chinese tsunami for the losses suffered by BN. BN big names like ex-Johor MB Ghani Othman lost to Lim Kit Siang. However, stats indicate that losses are due to urban communities (which have bigger chinese representation) voting against BN while the malay heartlands and rural areas still supporting BN. Since there are less Chinese in the heartland and rural areas, it looks like Chinese tsunami, but actually its urban tsunami.

The PM in the same speech mentioned about national reconciliation needed to ensure unity. We have to see what kind of national reconciliation is to be formed.

This election also saw a record turnout, with more than 80% voting.


MIC contested 9 parliament and 18 state seats. It won 4 parliament and 5 state, which is 9/27 or 33%. President G Palanivel claimed that MIC received good support from Malay and Indian voters, generally but I’m not sure how to arrive at that conclusion. The result is better than 2008 whereby it won 3 parliament and some state seats.

The parliament seat winners are G Palanivel, Dr Subra, Saravanan and Kamalanathan. G Palanivel, the president, suffered a scare as the majority against DAP’s Manoharan in Cameron Highlands “safe seat” was only. Dr Subra predictably won over Chua Jui Meng, Saravanan against Vasanthakumar (ex-Hindraf). The major setback is defeat of Murugesan at Kota Raja seat against incumbent Dr Siti Mariah and SK Devamany against incumbent Dr Michael Jeyakumar in Sg Siput. Many felt Devamany was sacrificed by Palanivel to ensure Palanivel is able to stand in a safe seat. Not sure how much of this issue is going to affect the coming MIC elections.

MIC lost Subang and Kapar against other Indian candidates.

The state seats this time around are from Johor, Malacca.


PR is holding a series of protests, but I doubt it would have any bearing on election results. More than 100 petitions have been filed, so perhaps some seats may see re-election. Some MPs are also having court cases, so more possibilities of by-elections. Rakyat is already looking forward for GE2014.

SPR will be in limelight as the proposed delineation of constituency boundary is to be done this year. Would there be more gerrymandering to try maintain advantage to ruling government?

For BN and PR, its back to drawing boards. Bring on GE14!

Sg Siput MP shares his election story

June 7th, 2013
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Just one month since our 13th General Elections. Here’s a story on the election campaign moments by Sg Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar. He is one of the underdogs in this campaign and managed to block return of MIC to Sg Siput by defeating one of the MIC nice guys, SK Devamany. The article below is to remind us of the election dramas that happened throughout the country.


By Dr Michael D Jeyakumar

The sheer volume of complaints we received indicates how little trust the Malaysian public have in the EC. And it is good to see that the Malaysian public are prepared to monitor the polling process itself to ensure it is not hijacked by any party.

There were many complaints of electoral irregularities, if not fraud, during the course of the 13th general election campaign and during polling day.

As this seems to be a hotly debated issue, I would like to share my experience as the candidate for the Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency.

There were many voters who came claiming that their names were not on the Election Commission’s list of voters though they had voted in previous elections. We have recorded their names down and intend to take this up with the EC.

There were also others whose names were registered in the voting list of other constituencies though they had voted in Sungai Siput before, and had not applied for a change in constituency. This too we intend to follow up.

It was painfully obvious that the BN campaign was far exceeding the RM200,000 expenditure limit for a parliamentary seat. Their flags, banners and posters by itself would come to much more than that.

House-owners who allowed the BN to tie banners on the fronts or sides of their houses were paid RM300!

There were numerous programmes during the campaign period when the BN gave out hampers, gift vouchers, and conducted lucky draws with rice cookers and toasters as presents.

There were several programmes where government agencies launched projects, such as the ground breaking for a new Tamil primary school and the handing out of Tekun loans amounting to RM2.5 million to about 100 applicants.

The BN candidates (for the parliamentary and two state seats) were the guests of honour in these sort of events while the opposition candidates were not invited.

Buses to ferry voters

On polling day, our supporters found four tour buses parked in Sungai Siput.

When my team and I when to check, there were no passengers in sight – but the drivers said that they had brought Malaysians working in Singapore back to Perak to vote.

We made a police report and the police detained the four buses and took statements from the drivers.

We were given a list of 35 names by one of the bus drivers – young Malays and Chinese mainly. No foreigners!

When we contacted the handphone numbers recorded in this list, the people named confirmed that they had come on that bus from Johore to Perak on May 3.

We have not been able to identify the passengers from the other three buses yet, but intend to try and do so by contacting the companies. But we do not have any proof that these buses brought in foreign voters.

In any case, our people in the Pondok Panas did not notice foreign looking people trying to attend the voting centres.

Many voters also complained about the ink that washed off. I called the returning officer and he said that perhaps the bottle of ink was not shaken properly. We advised all those complaining to make police reports.

Ballot boxes by helicopter

There are video postings of a young SPR officer guarding two yellow ballot “bags” in a field. That field happens to be in Sungai Buloh in Sungai Siput.

They contained the 237 votes from Orang Asli voters in Kuala Mu. As was agreed, polling at Kuala Mu stopped at 2pm, and the votes were counted there in the presence of PAS counting agents.

The Borang 14 was given to these counting agents, and the ballot papers were then sealed in these two bags and flown by helicopter to Sungai Siput. All these arrangements were made known to us on the afternoon of nomination day.

So this is not evidence of any hanky panky here, but a crowd of about 500 Sungai Siput residents had surrounded the ballot bags and it was only after I arrived and assured them that it was okay that they allowed the SPR to take these bags to the main counting centre.

Another complaint filed to us is the wilful delay in announcing the results.We got the copies of the Borang 14 from most of our polling centres by 8pm. By 8.30pm we knew we had won by about 2,800 votes.

However it took the EC another five hours to announce the result. Painful, but there wasn’t anything sinister in this.

It was the process of tabulation – the EC required each of the 104 “Ketua Tempat Mengundi”to submit his Borang 14 to the Returning Officer, the ADO. This would be typed in and projected on to a screen to enable the candidates to cross-check against their own Borang 14.

After a few minutes, an assistant to the Returning Officer would announce over the mike that vote results from such and such school had been accepted, and it would be added to the cumulative total. Openness and transparency can be time-consuming!

Entrance of 8 EC bags at 11.30pm

Many people in the hall were alarmed when this happened. I was already about 5,000 votes ahead when this happened and many supporters were anxious that extra votes were being brought in to cheat us of our victory! Again, nothing sinister.

The votes from three interior Orang Asli villages were not counted at site, though the process of voting was observed by our PACA.

These votes were brought out by four-wheel drives to the District Office where they were counted under observation of my and PAS’ counting agents.

The “Undi Awal” were also counted then. Apparently it was all done one by one which is why it took several hours to complete. These arrangements were made known to all parties contesting on nomination day itself.

PRU 13 was not a fair one. The mainstream media and government agencies supported the BN shamelessly and openly. And the BN spent far more than the legally permitted limit for each constituency.

There are serious lingering doubts about the authenticity of the voters’ lists. However in Sungai Siput, we were not able to find conclusive evidence of significant cheating during the polling process.

The sheer volume of complaints we received indicates how little trust the Malaysian public have in the EC. And it is good to see that the Malaysian public are prepared to monitor the polling process itself to ensure it is not hijacked by any party.

There is a much higher level of citizen activism to preserve the sanctity of the polling process compared to before. This is good for a democracy and we must say our thanks to the Bersih movement.

And Syabas to the general public. If we want a better system we have to put some effort into creating it.

Dr Michael D Jeyakumar is PSM’s winning candidate for Sungai Siput. He defeated MIC’s SK Devamany and an independent by a majority of 2,793 votes to retain this seat


Kasthuri Patto the new MP for Batu Kawan

May 13th, 2013
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We seldom see Indian women leaders or politicians. MIC’s women leaders seemed to be missing on national media. Can’t see any news about them. Even the young MP below, Kasthuri Patto is featured after winning the Batu Kawan seat. Hopefully she will be more prominent and be a good role model for future Indian women politicians.


Kasthuri Patto got her first taste of life on the campaign trail in 1995, when she was only 16, tagging along with her famous father as he stumped the length and breadth of the country canvassing support for DAP in that year’s general election.

DAP lost badly in the April 1995 election and P Patto, the party’s deputy secretary-general and editor of the Rocket, died two months later of a heart attack.

Little did Kasthuri know then that nearly 20 years later, she would be campaigning for herself in an election that would see DAP emerge as one of the biggest victors.

Her victory in the Batu Kawan parliamentary contest last Sunday was nothing less than convincing. She beat BN’s Gobalakrishnan by 25,962 votes in the racially mixed constituency of 57,593 voters.

The 34-year-old microbiology graduate told FMT she was surprised that DAP even considered her as a candidate in the recent election.

“I consulted my close friends in the party as well as my mother,” she said. “They all told me to accept the challenge and gave their blessings.

“Being Patto’s daughter might have been a factor in the decision of party elders to choose me as a candidate.”

Perhaps those elders were also impressed by the work she had done for the party.

Although she did not intend to enter active politics after graduating from Universiti Malaya, she maintained a close association with DAP and served in various capacities in the party’s social work, particularly in constituency services in Bukit Gasing and Subang Jaya. She was also one of party advisor Lim Kit Siang’s secretaries.

She told FMT her victory in Batu Kawan might not have been possible without the help of her father’s former comrades. She made special mention of P Ramasamy, one of Penang’s deputy chief ministers and her predecessor as Batu Kawan MP.

“Prof Rama was very helpful and supportive, and he shared his experience in tackling issues affecting the constituency,” she said.

Recalling the experience of campaigning for election, Kasthuri said she often felt like a newcomer when facing young voters.

“But it was not the same case among elderly voters. The moment my dad’s name was mentioned, no further introduction was needed.”

Kasthuri attributes her victory partly to her fluency in English, Malay and Tamil. “I picked up a few Hokkien phrases while campaigning and intend to improve on other Chinese dialects.”


She admits to a little apprehension at the beginning of her campaign, saying she found it difficult to assess the ground sentiments.

“My concern, obviously, was at least to match the majority of votes secured by Prof Rama in the last general election.

“I was also worried when PM visited Batu Kawan twice.

“However, when the official results were announced, it felt as if a big bonus had been given to me and the party workers.”

The victory comes with some personal sacrifices. Kashturi and her mother are planning to move house to Batu Kawan from Damansara, where she has been living for some years.

“I used to meet residents in Gasing every week and I will be missing them. It’s like leaving your own family behind.”

Nevertheless, she is looking forward to her first appearance in parliament. She said she was eager to highlight the “pressing socio-economic problems” confronting her constituents. These range from a shortage of decent housing to a lack of proper water and electricity supplies to limitations in healthcare services.

“Health issues have always been my concern,” she said. “Medical costs are rising beyond the means of even the middle income group.

“I can assure taxpayers that healthcare need not be costly. What we need is more commitment and dedication from people directly involved in the health sector.”

Besides that, the first-term MP believes in empowering public institutions like the Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

“They are treated as servants of their political masters,” she said. “They should be given back their dignity.

“I strongly believe there should be reforms across the board, not only within the law enforcement agencies but also in all government agencies.”

She said even those civil servants who could legally make decisions on their own and on the spot were often rendered ineffective by pressure from their political masters.

“They avoid dealing with issues or problems brought to their attention by just saying they are in no position to decide.”

Kasthuri agreed that the teenage girl who used to follow her father around had come a long way to take a seat in Parliament. But she said she still had some way to go to master the skills needed to carry out her responsibilities in the tough male-dominated world of Malaysian politics.

Her advantage is that many of her late father’s colleagues and admirers are still alive and willing to be her mentors.

“I am getting inputs on all the dos and don’ts that an opposition MP should observe and the priorities I must set as my constituency’s representative,” said the young politician.